What People are Saying


regarding "1944"

"Great choral music is centered around great text.  In Paul Carey's "1944", musical sensitivity is given to HD's beautiful and profound descriptions of the realities and confusions of war. The words control the entire spectrum of tonality and steer this composition into a challenging and powerful presentation. 

When Paul came to visit with the North Hills Chorale, his first priority was engaging the choir in discussions about "Christmas, 1944".  In our earliest communications, Paul indicated the importance of focusing on the text and allowing the words to truly have meaning. One simply cannot perform "1944" and not be changed to some extent. It is a very mature piece for a mature ear and a thoughtful mind. I will forever value the opportunity that I was afforded when we premiered his music. For us as a choir, his challenge raised our musical bar, and for myself as a young conductor, I couldn't have asked for any greater gift!"

Thomas Koharchik
Director, North Hills Chorale, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

regarding "The Bethlehem Star"

"I commissioned a major work for Christmas, "The Bethlehem Star." from Paul in 2004.  Audience reaction to the work was wonderful, and the singers truly enjoyed learning and performing the work.  Paul made every attempt to give us what we asked for, on time, and he is most willing to attend rehearsals and provide helpful comments.  I have performed and recorded other works of Paul's as well, and will give the premiere of the SATB version of his delightful "Play with Your Food" cycle in March, 2005.  He is an excellent composer who is not locked into one particular style or harmonic language.  I look forward to playing through each new work that he sends along."

   Dr. Nancy Menk
   Chair, Department of Music
   Saint Mary's College
   Notre Dame, IN 46556-5001
   South Bend Chamber Singers


Dear Mr. Carey:

I sang with the South Bend Chamber Singers when they premiered your piece "Bethlehem Star" at Christmas 2004. I just came across a snippet of the poem "The Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air We Breathe" and realized I had sung it . . . but when? where? Finally I recalled that it was with the SBCS that Christmas season and found your site with the recording of that performance. What a treat! I was one of the soloists and recall how much I enjoyed singing it, and that wonderful ostinato of "Wild air, world-mothering air, nestling me everywhere." I was only in Indiana for a year before moving to Kansas where I live now, but treasure my memories of singing with the Chamber Singers and, in particular, the piece that you wrote. Thank you.

Sara Dick


regarding "Charge of the Snail Brigade"

Dear Paul Carey,

I really injoy your song I think it is very funny and exciting and strong song.  I am a 5th grader in the chorus and injoy singing your song snail brigade.  Also I have never thought about how hard it is for snails to get food. The next time I see a snail I will try to let it get some food! :]  I am not sure if we are doing any other of your songs but I will check.   

a fifth grader from Mrs.Schmeters chorus,
Julia D.

regarding "Cradle Song"
from the Spectrum Music Choral Music Newsletter

New Releases

A Cradle Song, by Paul Carey, English text, Oxford, 386829-6, SA & piano or harp. This provocative carol is brilliantly crafted. Beautiful melodies and fine text painting on a famous poem by William Blake make this piece great for building brilliant head tone in treble voices. Changing keys and meter signatures are handled with strong understanding of rules of composition, yet sound spontaneous in gesture. This is a real winner for the young choir that enjoys beautiful melodies on simple partwriting. It will be particularly effective when a harpist is available.


regarding "God Says Yes to Me"

A review of Vox Femina of Los Angeles' March 8, 2008 performance:

"Vox Femina Los Angeles is a world-class women's vocal ensemble which performs excellent choral music in a diversity of styles...

Paul Carey's "God Says Yes to Me" was brilliant, amusing, and insightful in its treatment of the divine presence in the smallest details of our lives."


regarding "Hope"

"I like your new piece, 'Hope'. Singers will enjoy the lyricism! It is not difficult and will appeal to a wide variety of ensembles.
The accompaniment works well and is supportive and pianistic. 
I look forward to your new works."

Deborah Lutz
Nova Voce Women's Chorus
Charlotte, North Carolina

regarding "I Saw Three Ships"

"We sang your arrangement of "
I Saw Three Ships" in December 2003 [subsequently recorded on their first CD]. The arrangement is so fresh and I have fallen in love with your style, nuances, and innovative ways of hearing and experiencing music. The girls absolutely adored the piece."

   Mark L. Stamper
   Artistic Director, The Singing Girls of Texas

"The harmonies are exquisite, the voice leading sensitive, logical and friendly to the voice -- a lovely setting of the song."

  Sharon Hansen
   Founder and Music Director, The Milwaukee Choral Artists
   Chair, Graduate Choral Conducting Program, University of WI, Milwaukee

regarding "My Friend Elijah"

Mr. Carey:
My Friend Elijah was a fun to sing and it brought joy to all of us in the choir. I can't count the mornings lately that I have awakened to it going through my head! The notes and words were a perfect blend and we loved it - of course none of us could keep still while singing it either! Thank you for writing it and thank you for your kind words sent to Ben Legett. You are awesome!

Alison Waite  -  Alto 2, The Wolf River Singers


Dear Paul, 
I am a soprano in the Wolf River Singers (directed by Ben Legett, website 
at www.wolfriversingers.org)  and had the pleasure of performing 
My Friend Elijah in our concert this past weekend. I think the piece was 
the audience favorite and certainly was the singers favorite!

We had fun learning it and enjoyed every note. Thanks for writing such 
a great piece! I'm off to put on wool socks and eat some oreos! 
Sherry Thompson

regarding "Mashed Potato/Love Poem" (From the "Play with Your Food" song cycle)

Weblog of Jonathan Miller, artistic director of Chicago A Cappella
Making Someone Happy
by Jonathan Miller on Mon, 07/09/2007 - 6:31pm.

Last weekend, Chicago a cappella had a special performance, along rather unusual lines.  A longtime patron was having a big birthday, and his wife hired us to go the Unitarian Church of Evanston for a surprise party and concert.  Sometimes it's hard to know if you're affecting someone, but this was not one of those times.  The fortunate birthday boy, Craig, sat up in the front row, enjoying all of it.  One of the requests was the hilarious song by Paul Carey, "Mashed Potato/Love Poem" from the cycle "Play With Your Food!"  We hadn't sung it in a few years, and it was wonderful to once again witness that song's effect on an audience.

I have often taken pride in the intimate connection we have with our audiences, even with 300 people in the concert hall.  This was a lovely occasion when the intimacy was the total point, and all of the singers totally delivered.

[And the response posted by Judith, Craig’s husband]

I heartily recommend CAC for a festive occasion! Almost two weeks later, Craig is still talking about the performance and how moved he was and so are our friends. He laughed so hard at the Mashed Potato song that he couldn't catch his breath and tears were streaming down his face (although that might have been sweat, as it was 95 degrees outside and the church has no air conditioning where the party was held). One of the couples was so impressed they subscribed to CAC and will be attending the concerts with us.

"...the piece is great fun, so witty and clever and well written.  Well done!!" 

   Emily Ellsworth
Artistic Director of the Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus

regarding "Play With Your Food".... from a member of Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus

Mr. Carey,

Thank you for coming to visit our chorus today. It was really neat to see you and to get your ideas for “Summers Bounty” and the “Mashed Potato Love Song”. (I would have to say that the second is my favorite.) I also liked hearing about all the other songs you have written….the one about the fish sounds really neat! I wish I could get the lyrics to all your songs so we could sing them in chorus!! Again, thank you so, so much for coming today; I really love your songs!

A thankful GECC chorister,


Prim, perfect Choral Artists could have played for a few more yuks

Conductor Sharon Hansen and her small corps of highly trained women, the Milwaukee Choral Artists, are perfectionists. Even when they let their hair down, as in Saturday's "Stuff and Nonsense" program, every hair is in place.

They might be meowing and impersonating cats, as in Randall Thompson's "The Purr-ima Donna," featuring Marj Fowler, and Rossini's "Duetto Buffo di due Gatti," featuring Rebecca Davies and Elizabeth Malone as hissy rival divas, but every note is right on the money, and balance and rhythm remain impeccable.

As always, they sang some lovely music that one could easily miss in a lifetime of concert attendance. Paul Carey's brief "Mashed Potato/Love Song" is beautiful and funny at the same time. This deadpan text floats by in a lilting, drifting three-quarter time: "If I ever had to choose between you and a third helping of mashed potato . . . I think I'd choose the mashed potato. But I'd choose you next." That number didn't need any acting to make it hilarious. The dreamy ardor of the Choral Artists' singing drove home the joke.

This concert took place at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Recital Hall.



regarding commissions for the Fort Wayne (IN) Children's choirs:

"The Fort Wayne Children's Choir commissioned Paul to write one piece, which eventually turned into four pieces based on texts about animals. The texts he chose were witty, eclectic and fun - perfect for young voices. His musical settings melded beautifully with the words - very singable. Our young singers really enjoyed singing his pieces and working with Paul as well. He was positive and engaging with the choirs.

Communication was great with Paul. He was to easy to work with and willing to adapt as necessary. All in all a great commissioning experience!"

Fred Meads
Artistic Director of the Fort Wayne (IN) Children's Choirs

regarding "Seal Lullaby"

"Hi I'm Kristina Gerhardt and I'm in the Fort Wayne Children's Coir! I'm in Treble Choir. The one who sings Seal Lullaby. It is such a beautiful song and I enjoy singing it. It is an honor to sing something and set the standards. Thank-you Mr. Carey"

regarding "Tiny Stars"

"Paul's commission was to write a birthday piece for string trio, in honor of a lifelong [Suzuki] music educator. To fit the occasion, the piece had to be lighthearted and delivered on time. Paul's composition fit the bill wonderfully, capturing the exuberance of youthful music and the anguish of "gotta practice," with a sly wink to [the book one Suzuki method tune] 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.'"

D.E. Newsom, commissioner of "Tiny Stars"


regarding "The White Rose"

I conduct the Bel Canto Children's Chorus in SE Pennsylvania.  We have 
sung a number of your pieces over the years, but recently I picked up 
"The White Rose" to check out.  I have to tell you that I think it is simply 
a stunning piece. The text is exquisite, and the setting just gorgeous. I plan 
to have my senior high girls chamber chorus perform it in the 
spring. Thank you for writing this absolutely beautiful piece!

Joy Hirokawa
Founder and Artistic Director, Bel Canto Children's Chorus

regarding "Winter Solstice"
commissioned by the Santa Fe (NM) Women's Ensemble and premiered Dec 2006

The Santa Fe audience thrilled at the music by Paul Carey that used a text by Santa Fe poet Lonnie Howard.  As we were gathered in the beautiful Loretto Chapel for concerts, the full moon had risen outside and all the specific images [of the poetry] of Santa Fe warmed our hearts. Paul's music is highly evocative and surrounds the listener with exquisite beauty.  Check out this piece and see how it would translate to your winter experience. 

Linda Raney,
artistic director, Sante Fe Women's Ensemble

I would like to say... how much we enjoyed your wonderful composition, Winter Solstice. It was luminous, and lush, and evoked such wonderful imagery. You managed to create an almost tangible atmosphere where the singer and listener were able to experience the "iris bulbs buried in red earth" and "black bear sleeping" or "a string of colored prayer flags..."  I haven't seen the music for over a year, [yet] I can still recall those beautiful melodic phrases and the words.

Linda Beck,
member of the Santa Fe Women's Ensemble,
also a published composer and member of ASCAP



Read comments about:

Bethlehem Star
Charge of the Snail Brigade
Cradle Song
God Says Yes to Me
I Saw Three Ships
The Lark in the Clear Air
My Friend, Elijah
Play with Your Food/
   Mashed Potato Love Song

Seal Lullaby
Tiny Stars
White Rose
Winter Solstice

regarding Loosin Yelav, plus other music...

It was so much fun having you as a conductor. I never interpreted the meaning of songs like that before in choir! I hope they invite you to come back soon! And I'm not a fan of a lot of contemporary arrangements, but yours are great. I'm tired of singing bad arrangements of old songs and arrangements of popular music.

Katrina Dobbs, member of the PMEA District 1 Honors Choir, conducted by Paul in  Upper St. Clair, PA
late October 2008